tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC October 24, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
lunch where president trump is huddling with senate republican leaders right now. casie hunt standing by. we'll get to her in just a few moments. that will wrap up this hour of msnbc live. i'm craig melvin. >> chris jansing taking over. >> 11:00 a.m. out west. 2:00 p.m. in washington where an escalating war of words is threatening to derail the republican agenda. that was the scene as the president arrived on capitol hill last hour ignoring questions and one protester shouting him down on his way to a lunch with senate republicans. their goal? to unify behind a sweeping tax reform bill. all of that is in jeopardy as corker and trump trade brutal jabs in public and via twitter starting with corker's multiple appearances on morning tv. >> this has been building for
sometime as i have watched the way the white house has operated. my concerns have continued to rise. look, i'm one senator who is expressing what i believe to be -- what i know to be sincere concerns. >> trump tweeted insults at corker at least five times today including these. bob corker who helped with the bad iran deal is now fighting tax cuts. and senator corker is incompetent head of foreign relations committee and look how poorly the u.s. has done. he doesn't have a clue as the world was laughing and taking advantage of people like little bob corker have set the u.s. way back. corker calling trump an utterly untruthful president, # alert the daycare staff and then delivered blistering criticism of president trump hours before the luncheon.
>> i think the standing up in front of the american people and stating untruths that everybody knows to be untrue, attempted bullying that he does which everybody sees through. just dividing of our country, the name calling is something that is i think debasing to our country. you would think he would aspire to be the president of the united states and act like a president of the united states, but that's just not going to be the case. >> well, as we wait for the president to leave capitol hill let's get to our team of reporters who are covering every angle of the story. joining me from the white house peter alexander from capitol hill casie hunt. from the washington post phil rut gr and from capitol hill, as well, politico senior writer jake sherman. peter, this started with corker saying the president should stay out of the tax debate and corker
calling the luncheon a photo op. then it got very personal very quickly. >> that was effectively compliments given what we heard. it devolved to use bob corker's word on the course of several hours. tweets from president trump. he hasn't said things open to the microphone yet and may have the opportunity to do so when he comes out of the luncheon if he so chooses. bob corker attacking the president for debating the united states for this at best poor relationship with the truth saying if he had it to do over again obviously he would not have supported candidate donald trump. there are policy challenges which is why there could be potential consequences because corker's vote is critical on a variety of issues not the least of which is tax reform. the president referring to it as tax cuts. corker a deficit hawk is one of those skeptics at least as best people can understand at this
point based on his view of this who may be a no on the tax reform package. and the republicans have little room to spare. rand paul likely not supporting the present bill as it exists. if you lose corker you are basically teetering on the edge. >> what do we know about what is happening now and what is the story behind the protester who yelled at trump on the way in? i see you are looking for someone or something. >> reporter: wedged in here together as we wait for potentially the president to come out and perhaps make remarks to reporters after this lunch. my latest e-mails are speculating about what the president may or may not have eaten at lunch which is highly useful information. a lot of people wanting to be flies on the wall here. tom till s wandered through with a bag of popcorn earlier and was photographed with the popcorn and it said it was to see what would happen between bob corker
and the president in this closed door meeting. we will learn quite a bit more as members start to come out of the meeting and talk about what was said behind closed doors. in the agenda there tax reform. bob corker started the day by saying he thought this would be little more than a photo op. that has set the tone for the meeting today. the incident you were referring to earlier relatively significant breach of decorum and security here at the capitol and pretty unusual where i'm standing here just a few feet away are the doors to the senate floor chamber. this area is typically restricted. they come every tuesday for this policy lunch and we hear from simply the senate leadership. this is the first time the president has been up here in quite sometime. we saw him make this walk shortly after the election but
have not seen him since then. this protester who we have identified as an activist who did this with jared kushner in an earlier incident through apparently posing as a journalist, still working on how it was that he got access to this area, but was here in this area and had several small russian flags with him, maybe the size of a 4 by 6 photograph. threw the flags at the president and at mitch mcconnell. they walked past us together and shouting about russian sanctions and the president committing treason. again, a pretty unusual incident for here on capitol hill. this lunch is now -- it's five after 2:00. this is right now hitting about standard length typically an hour long lunch. some days it goes longer. if it is 2:30 before we hear or see the president walk by you
know they had a long and involved conversation that is kind of beyond the typical length for one of these policy lunches. >> thank you. i know you will be standing by for us. in the meantime, philip, the president's actions could be out of his no apology play book after trump's tweet about gold star widow you said, quote, trump's actions since then have followed a careful formula that he long ago devised for winning a skirmish and that has been described by senior white house advisers, make it a fight, use controversy to elevate the message and never apologize. >> it is entirely predictable when we saw bob corker on the tv broadca broadcasts. you knew it was a bit of time before he reacts. it's a huge distraction for the president and for this white house. remember, they are not only
trying to deal with tax reform, but there are other issues. the president is trying to finalize a policy on the opioid crisis that he wants to unveil. he is preparing for a high stakes trip to asia where he is dealing with allies on the north korea nuclear crisis and he spent three or four hours this morning fighting back with senator bob corker. it is a huge distraction and demoralizing for this administration to go through this. >> there is a lot riding on this tax reform for the president and senate republicans. i was just with a large group of kentucky republicans. they are very concerned about what they consider to be even big supporters of him consider to be these distractions when they want him to be focussed on policy. where does this go? how do they bring this all together? >> it's difficult to overstate this situation here. we are literally 12 months ahead of an election in which the president's approval ratings are in the 30s and republicans have
no big accomplishments on capitol hill that they can run on. the first mid term election for a president is always bad. if they don't have anything to talk about at home they are going to be asked questions about donald trump's temperament. i asked paul ryan about the twitter war between corker and the president and ryan said judge us on the results. if they don't have results and accomplishments you can't judge them on that. i want to echo what phil said. this is demoralizing for the white house staff which is trying to get things done and doing its best to represent the president's agenda on capitol hill but then the president gets in these wars and members of congress say what is going on here? we are working our butts off for you and you are just attacking our colleague. it is an odd situation and no logical strategy that this is following. this is just all over the place. phil is right. it is absolutely demoralizing for republicans who want to get things done in an all-republican
washington. >> do you sense the frustration at the white house? this dust up with bob corker is not the first time he has gone after a member of his own party. john mccain has tweeted about mitch mcconnell. what are you hearing from there? >> we were going down the list right now. you can name about 11 republicans. basically one in five republicans serving in the senate right now that the president has antagonized in some form, most often in the form being twitter. clearly this doesn't help. the question you want to pose is why do you think this antagonizing helps you accomplish agenda items you just heard from our colleagues talking about right now in terms of frustration they insist congress has done nothing. we were here to drain the swamp. we are trying to push the guys aside and we got to get action to help the american people. senior administration official basically said to us obviously this isn't part of some big
strategy. and we don't think this is the way forward but this is the way the president thinks. >> peter alexander, kasie hunt, i want to thank all of you as we wait to see the president coming out of that lunch meeting. i want to bring in from capitol hill virginia republican congressman. thanks for joining us. >> thank you, guys. >> mark murray put together a timeline of the president's dust up with members of the republican party. since july there have been more than eight instances. you just heard what peter alexander had to say. we did our own list of 11 senators, about one in five have been the target of the president. is this the way to get something passed? >> well, the house is frustrated equally. we passed 270 bills waiting on the senate side. so in our view the senate is way behind on the work product. we passed an obamacare bill. it wasn't a full repeal.
>> is the president going after members of his own party part of the problem on the senate side? >> i don't know. we have a tax vote coming up. if they don't pass it then it is a problem. if they do then it is not a problem. it is just about policy. it's tax cuts, obamacare repeal, regulatory reform. we have the entire dodd-frank repealed through the house. the regulatory burden of that one piece alone is bigger than obamacare. it would reignite the economy on its own, as well. we are waiting on that in the senate. a lot of us are frustrated with the senate not getting its work product done. there is little tension there. we wish everyone would ease the passions a little bit and rationality to get policy objectives passed. that's our goal. >> so i understand that there are often more than one side to every story and maybe it is not just the president causing problems, but there are folks
who have expressed real concerns in both houses about the president, about his use of twitter, but also about his seeming inability as they see it to focus on what are the pressing issues of the day, the way bob corker put it as you know and that kind of started all of this way back when with adult daycare. do you agree with any of what bob corker has to say? >> i don't get in the drama aspect. i look the way it happened obamacare, we passed a bill. the senate didn't. and so who is at fault? the president wanted a repeal of obamacare. i don't think it is the white house fault on that one. and then the democrats it would be good if we had across the aisle appeal. most people want to lower taxes. the democrat progressive caucus put in a tax increase bill two weeks ago to raise taxes 10 trillion. i don't think some democrats want to go in that direction.
they have more debt in deficit than republican plan. we get hit for cutting taxes and we have a deficit issue in the short run. but the democrats have a $10 trillion tax increase with more debt and deficits than republicans. if you are going to assign blame, if the country wants to move forward and give small business a boost and put money back in the pockets of the middle class i think we are doing it. the democrats are voting the opposite to raise taxes. so you have to look at both sides of the aisle and all actors to get an accurate assessment of what is going on up here in the swamp. >> let's look at what a lot of members of your party ran on whether in the house or senate. let's please republicans who are telling you -- you know this better than i do. let's please stop spending money we don't have. and there are a lot of people who are looking at this tax plan and saying that is exactly what we are doing. and it did seem to a lot of people who were very unhappy about it that the president
under cut their efforts to try to make this financially feasible when he said the 401 k is off the table. as far as you're concerned, is the 401 k off the table and if it is where is the money coming from? >> well, let me go -- you are right. i'm at the forefront of the stopping the spending spree. we are 20 trillion in debt. under the obama administration they doubled it. and i just showed you on the other side of the aisle they are raising taxes by 20 trillion. so it's very hard to restrain spending in the swamp. that is probably best definition of the swamp is the spending bills. the deficit this year alone is 666 billion. that is a bad number for a lot of reasons. our party is in charge of that. we bear responsibility on that. the other side of the aisle wants to -- >> is 401 k sacred in your mind as the president has suggested? are you willing to say we are not going to touch your 401 k?
>> nothing is sacred because all the small parts you can have a legitimate consensus agreement where a bunch of small pieces take a hit but the gain in terms of tax reductions outweighs it by far. we haven't had wage growth. that was -- the middle class hasn't had wage increase in 30 years. they are very upset. that's the midwest. that's michigan, ohio, pennsylvania, et cetera. the whole country is united. they don't know what a raise looks like anymore. and so if we get tax cuts through and business growth going people may see a rise in their wages again for the first time in 30 years. so that's the big move we want to see occur. the small stuff doesn't matter as much if you get that huge positive outcome. >> congressman of virginia, thank you so much. we appreciate your time, sir. i want to go back to the other part of capitol hill which is
where kasie hunt is. am i right that rand paul and bob corker were seen exiting the room? >> reporter: that's right. you saw rand paul walk by flashing thumbs up. we tried unsuccessfully to get bob corker's attention. how was the meeting? that's senator tim scott. you get a sense that this is at the point where it is breaking up and we may see the president leaving. we did see bob corker. he walked out the door. you may see john mccain leaving, as well. that's luther strange. >> what is your sense of this? do you think somebody will come out? do they want to talk about this? >> reporter: we would expect to hear from mitch mcconnell, the majority leader, as a matter of course. that is what always happens typically after these lunches. it would be unusual if he didn't
talk in the wake of something like this. the question we have is whether or not the president will have anything to say about what went on behind closed doors and the back and forth he has gotten into with senator corker. that is kind of why you see -- this is not normally what this would look like. we are joined by white house reporters pool and larger than usual capitol hill press corps given the events of the day. that is obviously what we are watching for here. i was talking earlier, this is something that senators themselves are watching with a lot of anticipation and no small amount of humor. senator tom till s tweeted a photo coming up the escalators in the basement of the capitol hill with a bag of popcorn, anticipating that this might be a tenser than usual meeting. >> on one side you have bob corker who says this is basically a photo op. the president comes up on the hill and nothing gets done. who are the optimists?
and who is it in the senate who thinks this could make a difference as they try to move -- >> mr. president, mr. president presiden president -- >> so there you have it. >> i can't quite tell what he said? >> reporter: we were too far away to hear if he said anything. you can see him sort of saying a few words and of course waving. forgive me if you start to see people wander into my shot because we are being moved to set up for what is the more typical arrangement for this kind of a news conference. we will kind of move this way a little bit. please forgive me as we do this. again, we are now expecting that we will hear from senator mitch mcconnell, the majority leader, potentially after what was -- so
the president spent about an hour and 20 minutes behind closed doors. i expect we hear a lot of information pretty quickly. i'm here talking to you and not in the hallway talking to senators. our team is moving as quickly as possible to try to get a sense of that. i think what mitch mcconnell says will say a lot clearly about the direction and what happens next. i will tell you you are asking me earlier about who is optimistic and how that might work. >> today could make a difference. >> yeah. you know, i think that there is a little bit of division on the senate side. it it's a little more complicated because a lot of members have been working on this issue for a long time. they may not want to tie themselves closely to the president. there are some members who do and depends on what state you are from. i think on the whole republican
members my sources are telling me they are a lot more optimistic about getting tax reform done than they are about health care which says something considering the enormity of the project. this is our -- we have a little bit of a tight situation here. >> as is usual remarkable job at navigating all of this. >> reporter: thank you. that's very kind. i do think that there is a level of optimism around this. it is possible the leaders will come out and say something that contradicts what i'm telling you now or that would give us reason to feel like this might be delayed, but again the root of the question is i don't know that the president being here on the senate side necessarily helps win over folks in the senate. possibly rand paul who suggested voted no on the budget to lay groundwork for tax reform and has been target of a lot of
pressure. he is somebody that potentially could be swayed. the president's words do matter a lot more in the house of representatives because of the makeup of the republican conference over there. house speaker paul ryan has a real challenge in trying to -- he has moderate members who want to be able to sell middle class tax cut back home and tell local chamber of commerce that they cut business taxes and a lot of conservatives who aren't on board with raising the deficit and costing the government more money. that is kindf a fundamental part of the tax plan. you have deficit hawks who are saying we are going to assume that the economy is going to grow at a three percent rate. that is a big assumption to make for people who would list debt as a top concern. >> let me let people know what they are seeing on their tv screens. first we saw the folks traveling with the president. he has left capitol hill heading back to the white house.
continue. >> reporter: we again to set the scene for you, we have the capitol hill press corps crowded around. peter, if i can ask you to step back a little bit. i apologize. we are doing a little bit of production. we are one minute out from our leaders. i will stop chatting with you as soon as that happens. >> you talk about them going back home, in 30 seconds, talk about the pressure you are hearing about from the people on the hill, from their constituents. republicans i talk to all across the country were very patient about the president getting something done. they seem to be losing patience. >> reporter: i think that is right. one thing, i have been having a couple of conversations with lawmakers privately about the dynamic back in their states. one thing that they do say is that there are a lot of people who voted for the president who still are behind him and they are frustrated with what they perceive to be as congress getting in his way.
and congress is more and more unpopular. we have revised our warning from one minute to two minutes just to keep you appraised of what is going on here. i do think that voters are ready to take their frustration out on their members of congress. and republicans control all government. they control the white house. they control both the senate and the house. and so they i think know that they are going to be held accountable if, in fact, they don't do something big. that is part of the dynamic here. you have heard the president allude to this which tells you it is the argument members have been making to him behind closed doors which is that it may be easier to do tax reform now that health care has failed because there was such a blowback. you see that with rank and file voters and republican donors who is fed up with the fact that they feel like they spent millions plus dollar s to elect people who haven't fulfilled their promises.
that is a central dynamic. you can't lose sight of the details in this. they are complicated and difficult to talk through. any one of them could potentially sink the whole enterprise. that is why kind of the day to day negotiations are really important. i think one policy item to watch is whether they add a tax bracket for millionaires. we are about to see mitch mcconnell come around the corner. >> we can show you to talk a little more -- here comes mitch mcconnell. let's listen. good afternoon, everyone. as you know we had the president at lunch today. he went over all of the items that the administration has been working on, much of which i agree with him the administration hadn't gotten nearly enough credit for. i would highlight several things that i think will be front and center going down the end of this session.
obviously, tax reform. we are hopeful the house will pass the budget that will open the door to begin the process of tax reform in the ways and means and finance committee. we are going to be confirming a number of judges beginning with a couple of district judges. and the president also talked about his upcoming announcement on opioids. you know, we have a national epidemic of historic proportion. and the administration is correctly seized on this issue as something that is important to the american people. we need to get a handle on this as best we can. the president will be talking about that later in the week. as leader mentioned one of the big points that the president wanted to cover today is what we can do to help
ordinary americans, middle income families, improve their economic standing. that is really what the focus of tax reform is about. a lot of middle income families have had tough times. if you are trying to save for your kids' college education or put aside money for retirement or save for a rainy day it has gotten harder and harder for average american families to be able to do that. that is why we are focussed on tax reform. we are on tax reform because we think it is unacceptable that half of the families in this country say they are living paycheck to paycheck and that a third of the families are literally one great job away from financial ruin. what the tax plan we are putting forward does is it lowers rates and doubles standard deduction and removes a number of americans from having tax liability by doubling standard
deduction and expands tile tax credit to make it easier to afford the cost of raising children. we think that will help pave a better and brighter future for middle income families. we hope there are democrats that will work with us to pass that kind of tax reform because it is good for american families and middle class. it's good for jobs and wages. those are the types of things that democrats say they support. if they do they ought to join hands with us and help us get this tax bill across the finish line. i'm very happy that the president accepted our invitation to join us for lunch. i felt it was an active conversation to help lower the taxes of the american people. the president was very strong and focussed on that on giving people a raise by cutting their taxes. this is going to be the first
time in a generation that that has occurred. we have taken the first step in the senate by passing a budget. we need a tax system in this united states that is fairer, simpler and lets people keep more of their hard earned money. that is what we are committed to do. in terms of businesses and the tax situation there, lower the taxes to make it easier for businesses to hire people, to put more people to work and to raise wages. additionally, the president talked about the issue of confirmation of so many of his nominees. we are in a position where it seems that the democrats have been so obstructive to president trump and getting people in place to do the jobs of the american people that at this point president obama had twice as many people confirmed as president trump has to this time. we are going to continue to work to break the obstruction that we are seeing from the democrat party. >> part of the president's
remarks focussed on the regulatory reforms that have been made already and they have been significant. things like the power structure that would have raised utility bills, so-called clean power rule, waters the u.s. to require epa to be involved in so much of the economy. these were huge overreaches and on taxes the president said in his two principle observations what our members are saying on the floor and in all of their comments. this is about tax cuts for working individuals and hard working families. and at the other end of the spectrum it is about creating opportunities for our country to be more competitive so that the jobs people have are better than the jobs available now. not very complicated if we stay with those two principles. we will see this economy grow and families and individuals who work hard for a living benefit from it and that's clearly where the president is and where the
republicans in the senate are. >> over 1.7 million jobs have been created in this country since last november. i think you witnessed great enthusiasm for a tax relief to american families to help make sure that people are able to keep more of their own dollars in their pockets. 25% of the people in this country don't have emergency access to $100. economists have talked about the fact that tax reform and the work we are doing would give $4,000 in new income to the average middle class family in this country. this weekend for the first time in 25 years we witnessed shutout of the denver broncos. longer than that since this country witnessed tax reform, 31 years ago. in 1986 "top gun" was number one movie. mitch mcconnell was rocking out to walk like an egyptian.
ibm unveiled the first laptop that weighed 13 pounds and we are still dealing with the 1986 tax code. we can do better and we can grow this economy. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i don't have observation about that. we are here to try to accomplish things for the american people. we are all on the same page on the issues that i have mentioned and front ask center is comprehensive tax reform as my colleagues have described. try to get the country going again and growing again. that's what we are going to work on. >> when the president arrived there was a disturbance here. a gentleman threw something. did that scare you? was there concern there about what happened?
>> you guys were hollering so loud i didn't notice it. we didn't comment on it. we walked into my office. >> did the president say anything more about it? >> [ inaudible ]. >> if there is anything all republicans think are important to the country and to our party it is comprehensive tax reform. the issue itself brings about great unity among our members. so we are concentrating on the agenda that we have for the american people. the president shares that agenda, is going to do a good job i think promoting that agenda. we intend to achieve what we set out taachieve before the end of the year. >> what point do you have an obligation as a leader of this party to weigh in on the serious criticisms of the president?
>> what i have an obligation to do is try to achieve the greatest cohesion i can among 52 republicans to try to achieve for the american people the agenda we set out to achieve. tax reform is what we are about. if there is anything that unifies republicans it's tax reform. we have been looking for the opportunity to do this literally for years. we now have a president who will sign it, who believes in what we are trying to do. we are going to concentrate on what our agenda is and not other distractions you may be interested in. >> think about it. what is driving the news today? >> he feuded with you. i will give you the list. >> i don't know how many times i have to say the same thing. a lot of noise out there. we have a first amendment in this country. everybody gets to express themselves. what we are concentrating on is
the agenda the american people need. i think there is great cohesion among republicans to achieve this goal before the end of the year. >> let's listen to bob corker who is also speaking right now. >> were you hoping to engage with him? >> not at all. >> you called this a photo opfor the president. do you still stand for that? >> it was uneventful. but -- >> you said a lot this morning. where are you hoping this goes from here? no tweets tomorrow. >> are you hoping to talk with the president beyond this end? by speaking out and being this
voice where do you think this goes? >> to express concerns about the conduct and just what it means to america and americans and what it means to the world. i don't really have an agenda other than responding again to shots -- >> administrative changes? >> i'm good. i have done all i need to do. >> support from any of your colleagues? >> sure. >> bob corker after what has been a couple of days of back and forth with the president that actually goes back even further than that. bob corker has suggested the white house is a bit like adult daycare. it got personal and escalated today. before that we saw mitch mcconnell not wanting to talk about that, wanting to talk
about what he says is the one thing that unites republicans and that is tax reform. of course, the problem for him is that there is stuff dividing the republicans and often it is the republican president from members of congress who is in his own party because of his tweets. let me bring back kasie hunt on capitol hill, jake sherman, nbc news senior political editor. help me to decipher what exactly we heard from mitch mcconnell. i'm not exactly sure what if anything was accomplished in that meeting. >> we didn't hear anything new from mitch mcconnell on what has become what feels like a regular ritual of him coming to the microphone and us asking about the latest division within republican conference and him saying i want to talk about our agenda. in this case he kept going back to tax reform again and again. i didn't get a chance and he was not directly asked if he agrees
with bob corker's difficult assessment that he is debasing the country. i have to step away because chuck schumer is coming to the microphone. >> now the democratic side. >> good afternoon everyone. i want to thank my colleagues, two wonderful colleagues for joining me here today. now, as everyone knows president trump put down his phone for an hour to come to the senate republican luncheon to talk tax reform. unfortunately, what the president says about tax reform has been correctly characterized by senator corker as untruths and corker was being kind. let's just review a few of what the president says. it is totally divorced. what the president says and what the republican plan does are polar opposites. so, for instance, the president
said this is not a plan for the rich. blatantly untrue that this plan is not a plan for the rich. it repeals the estate tax which benefits 11,000 wealthiest estates in the country. it lowers the top rate. untruth number two. allowing hedge fund donors and big law firms to take advantage. three, it provides a pass through so very wealthy people can pay a lower rate than average americans. untruth. so it is totally untrue, shall we say, that this is not a plan for the rich which the president has stated. then he says at the heart of our plan is a tax cut for every day working americans. untruth number two. just wrong.
tax policy center a third of middle class families would pay more and very few get much of a break. when they talk about getting rid of state and local deductibility, when they talk about limiting 401 ks, when they talk about limiting the mortgage deduction, those are all aimed at making the middle class pay more so the rich can get a bigger tax break. that's not what america needs. that's not what america wants and that is not what is in the plans put together by our republican leadership in the house and senate. that's an untruth. and then the president claims this will not increase, this will lower the deficit. untruth number three. absurd. no one believes that this will lower the deficit. and the "washington post" fact checker called this claim a
fantasy. no one believes it. so it is untruth after untruth, after untruth as bob corker put it when the president talks about the republican tax plan. untruth one, it's aimed at helping the middle class. untruth two, it's not a plan for the rich. untruth three, it lowers the deficit. this plan is a disaster for america. it's no wonder our republican colleagues want to rush it through in the dark of night because the more it is exposed to sun light the more rotten it smells and the american people will know that. senator cardin. >> thank you senator schumer. the more we are learning about the tax proposal that the republicans will be unveiling next week, the more we have concern that this is certainly not in the interest of the american people. senator schumer talked about the fact one thing is clear it will
blow a hole in the deficit. they are acknowledging it when they allow the hole to be created but in addition we know that there is a lot of gaps in reaching 1.5 -- >> so democrats who are coming out and saying -- chuck schumer starts with donald trump put down his phone for an hour, a bit of a dig at the president but then refuting point by point what the tax plan supposedly says. of course, the devil always is in the details and the question is what will it really mean for the average american. we have seen that back and forth on the 401 ks. let's bring back from capitol hill political senior writer jake sherman and mark murray. so what will we really know at this point about this plan because ultimately the american people are going to figure out whether it helps or hurts them? so you do wonder at this point
will the 401 k survive? do we know? >> i want to take a step back. next time the president says he expects democratic support widespread on this tax plan you have to listen to what chuck schumer just said which is that this is a disaster in his words, not mine. that is a big deal because that cements the idea that the plan is not going to get much if any democratic support in the senate or on the house for that matter. we don't know much about the plan and will know next week just broke on november 1 we will begin to see text on the tax reform plan. on the 401 k element trump said in the room to senate republicans he is not going to touch retirement accounts which is a big deal. the washington post today reported that they are running out of places to get revenue.
the tax plan is not out and has not gone through committee. that is an important element as we hear people pine about the details of the plan. >> one thing i will say that it is not every day from anyone but we heard it on the republican side that you hear both walk like an egyptian and denver broncos mentioned in the same press conference. having said that, they don't want to talk about this divide within the republican party. they don't want to talk about the fights that the president has been having with members of his own party. you have looked into it. what did you find? >> this actually divided between senate republicans and president trump goes back now three months from the failure that republicans had on health care back in july then when president trump ended up lashing out at senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and other republicans for not being able to deliver. then came the president's remarks on charlottesville and back and forth on that and then
last couple of weeks where senator corker made criticisms aimed at president trump. when i look at the first thing that really set this off was when john mccain after being diagnosed with cancer ended up giving a speech on the senate floor before his final no vote on health care and he ended up saying the united states senate that we are equals. we are not subordinants to president trump. to me that i think is the crux of the argument. i think that is how you can put senator bob corker's comments in context. members of the senate many of whom have ran for the presidency like donald trump did or who certainly see themselves one day as being president are fighting back. >> who is the member of the senate who doesn't see themselves at one time or another as potentially running for president? thank you for that.
we appreciate it and just one note, we may have told you earlier at some point that we are expecting white house press briefing which we did not have one yesterday but we are expecting one at 2:30. if you were watching closely you saw sarah sanders who was with the president who probably got back to the white house right about that time and is probably getting together with her staff to see what happened during that hour when the president put down his phone and see what might have happened that she might have to respond to. we are keeping our eye on the white house briefing room and what is going on on capitol hill. keep it here on msnbc.
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was there a premission assessment of the accurate? did u.s. -- how did u.s. forces become separated during the engagement, specifically johnson, and why did it take time to find and recover mr. johnson? >> joining me now is reporter kennedy lany. i know you have been looking into this from the very beginning. what more do we know now. >> as you said we have learned part of this mission was in pursuit of a senior militant, potentially an isis recruiter. but that raise as whole new set of questions. what we don't fully understand is whether the mission changed. one of the things general dunford said yesterday they were sething whether the mission changed. they said it began as a reconnaissance mission, which is
different than pursuing a target is much less risk. one of the thing we have learned is they were learn being this target, leshed he was in the vicinity and decided to pursue him. we learned he escaped and then as you said was in a village who tipped to have bad guys and this union was ambushed as they left the village. >> so much more we have to learn. thank you kennedy lany. the grieving widow of sergeant la david johnson stood firm yesterday pushing back on president trump's description ever thur condolence call earlier this month. instead of letting it go of course the president denied her account essentially calling her a liar. this isn't the first time the president has gone over a gold star family. during the campaign he attacked mr. and mrs. khan whose son died in iraq in 2004. with me here, gold star
forekhizr khan. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> most of us will never face what you have gone through, what you the family of la david johnson is going through. what you heard what my isha johnson had to say about the president -- she said he didn't even know her husband's name. then on twitter he comes back and he disputes that. what goes through your mind as someone who has lived this horror? >> i am shocked and heart broken at the incapacity of empathy from the white house. not only the president, but his advisors as well. dignity, restraint, utmost privacy to these brave families that have sacrificed their best. they stand among the most dignified families this country. and the white house owes them that dignity and restraint. if president is incapable of empathy and dignifying these families, his advisors must
advise him and insist for him to use the proper language and proper gesture. what we saw that, even the closest adviser was one aware of that courtesy. and that even though he has gone, and his family had sacrificed so much for this country. we salute that. we pay our tribute to that. but not extendsing that courtesy of privacy, dignity to this family, it's not american tradition. >> you have written about an american family. this is your new peculiar. there are so many things i could have taken out of this. but what really struck me was a part of the book where when you found out that your son was going to go to iraq. your wife was clearly very worried about it. and here's what you write about your son. he took her hands in his. mom, my job is to keep people safe, he said. that was true. his unit was in charge of a
sprawling base north of baghdad. and i can't keep people safe if i'm not safe, right. when you think of it that way, i have to be the safest person there. that moved me because it said a lot about your son and his relationship with his mother and trying to calm her fears. what would you want the american people to know, who are so much more disconnected than we have ever been, just because of the sheer numbers, from people who serve in the military, not just about your son, but about the men he served with. and i'm sure the members of the military you have met since the loss of your son about the people who go to war for us? >> we tell that story in our book but i wish to say this. these men and women in uniform are the best of america that this nation has ever produced. they are the best in the world. veterans that have served, we owe them gratitude and we owe them our thank. so these friends, these sons and
daughters of mine, i call them, are the best of america that america has ever made. my son was one of them. he was truthful to his oath of office that he took to the last moment of his life, protecting others, holding these values close to his heart, and defending democracy. he wrote an essay. the title of that essay was "democracy requires vigilance and sacrifice". this moment in our history, our democracy is under attack not from internal division, but from outside as well. it requires vigilance. and we tell all that story in the book in detail. and why it is so important to be hopeful. i have traveled throughout the nation, i have seen fear and concern in the hearts and minds of americans.
with that fear, they have hope that our founding documents, our values, our founding documents will prevail. >> the book is "an american family" it honors, your son, your family, but it honors america. we thank you khizr khan for coming in. big nows out of arizona, the republic, the major newspaper there, now reporting that senator jeff flake says he will not seek re-election. this would be the latest senator who has taken the wrath of this president who has decided not to run, somebody who was in a very difficult race potentially for reelection. kasie hunt joins me again from the hill. this is huge news, obviously? >> it is a big deal, chris. it is another piece of evidence that this republican party or what we thought was the republican party, the moderate wing of it, its establishment is really falling apart. i just want to give you the latest reporting we have here.
our von hillyard is reporting that senator flake will give a 3:20 floor speech, and that an aide pointed to an arizona republic story here that he apparently gave a telephone interview, according to the arizona republic. this would be a traditional way. clearly we want to make sure that we state that nbc news is still reporting this out and we have not spoken directly to flake or anyone who said yes he is not going the run but he is quoted in his local hometown paper saying here's the bottom line the path i would have to travel to get the republican nomination is a path i'm not going to take. it would require me condone behavior that i cannot condone. that is a very remarkable statement from the junior senator from arizona. just a little bit of background
on jeff flake. he has been extraordinarily outspoken against this president. more so than many of his colleagues have been willing to be. he is -- he's from northern arizona. he was, you know, relatively recently elected. john mccain is of course the senior senator from his state. but he is facing an electorate in arizona that is extraordinarily conservative and if anything gave us the first taste of what president trump's campaign was going to look like. you remember those early rallies in phoenix area for example. and that's the kinds of republican party that flake would be confronting. now my source i have been talking to them over the course of the last weeks and months. they have said privately that internal kind of polling surveys taken by groups that are trying to figure out what is the lay of the land have said that flake was extraordinarily unpopular within his own party and that polls for a general election were also not necessarily great for him. the democrats have somebody that
they consider a top recruit, congresswoman kristen cinema, who is from arizona of course. they were very excited when they learned that she was willing to try to win this senate seat for the democrats. and of course part of that is she was expecting a divisive primary fight. kelly ward is a conservative who -- she's been kind in the conversation before. steve bannon appeared at a rally with her and laura ingraham i believe that was last week, it was very recently. the indication was there was going to be a lot of money, a lot of nastiness put up against jeff flake. so this is a situation where it's yet another member of this body who has decided you know what, i can't do what it would take to get elected in the republican party. >> a quote in the arizona republic, there may not be a place for a republican like me in the current republican climate. casey hunt thank you for that we are waiting. surely there will be a question asked at the white house pre